As chicken owners, we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to treat them and to keep them busy. Not all fruit and vegetables are safe for chickens, but is this the case with cauliflower?
As a chicken owner myself, I’ve done the research and tried and tested various vegetables on my flock to find out if they like them and for cauliflower I found the following:
It is safe for chickens to eat all parts of a cauliflower including the florets and leaves as an occasional healthy treat. As with any treat, cauliflower shouldn’t replace a chicken’s complete feed and care needs to be taken around some aspects of feeding cauliflower to your flock.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to feed cauliflower to chickens along with some helpful tips on the best ways to treat your flock and which part of the vegetable they can eat.
What is the Best Way to Feed Cauliflower to Chickens?
We’ve tried various ways of feeding cauliflower to our flock of chickens and the best way is to cut the cauliflower into florets so they can peck and at it in smaller pieces.
A chicken treat feeder is a good way to feed chickens cauliflower and other veggies because it keeps them busy and stops the food from getting dirty on the ground.
Here’s a a good hanging feeder because it’s got larger gaps than a bird feeder and is specifically designed for chickens.
The feeder can be hung in a chicken run or anywhere around their grazing space and comes with an extra cord so you can adjust the length.
As with any treat which you give to your flock, cauliflower should be fed to chickens in moderation, because too many additional foods can mean they don’t get enough of their complete chicken feed.
Chicken feed contains everything they need to function on a daily basis, including protein for strength and energy and calcium for laying birds (for layers pellets).
Too many other foods will mean they might be missing out on valuable nutrients which they need to function healthily on a daily basis.
Do Chickens Like Eating Cauliflower?
Just like us humans, chickens also have likes and dislikes when it comes to food, and although they don’t have complex tastebuds, not all birds like the same things.
Most chickens do like to eat cauliflower, although we have found that some birds aren’t that interested in comparison to their favorites such as corn or worms.
It’s a good idea to try them with a small amount first to make sure they like it before feeding them more.
Other than Cauliflower, your chicken can eat these food too.
Can You Feed Chickens Califlower Scraps From the Kitchen?
If you live in the UK then it’s against the law to feed chickens with any scraps from a non-vegan kitchen and this includes cauliflower.
This law is in place to prevent any cross-contamination of diseases into the human food chain.
You can, however, feed your flock with raw cauliflower straight from a garden, allotment or store, if it’s not been prepared in a kitchen.
In most other countries, there are no restrictions on feeding chickens kitchen scraps, but it’s worth checking with your local government to make sure.
Where there are no restrictions on kitchen scraps, you can also feed cooked cauliflower to chickens, which they’ll enjoy, although raw veggies do have more nutrients.
Can Chickens Eat Cauliflower Leaves and Stalks?
Cauliflower is a safe vegetable for chickens to eat and this includes all parts, along with the outer leaves and stalks.
Although the leaves are safe for chickens to eat, they’re generally not too interested in this part and will prefer the inner part of the vegetable’s florets which are easier to eat.
Chickens will peck at cauliflower stalks, but again from experience, they seem to prefer the softer parts.
Can Chickens Eat Cauliflower Rice?
Chickens can eat cauliflower rice as a treat and they will enjoy picking at it because it’s small and easy to eat.
Larger florets are easier if you’re using a treat feeder and are less messy to clear up if your chickens don’t eat it all or if they don’t like it.
It’s also worth noting the rules around feeding scraps prepared in a kitchen if you’re living in the UK (see the kitchen scraps section above).
How Much Cauliflower Should You Feed to Chickens?
When you feed cauliflower to chickens as a treat, one average-sized floret will be enough for two chickens.
To make it easier for chickens to peck and eat their treat, I would recommend cutting a floret like this into halves or quarters.
This image shows what is meant by a floret and will give you an idea of how much you will need for your flock.
To make sure your chickens get all the nutritional value they need from their complete feed and natural foraging it’s a good idea to restrict the number of treats they get in a week.
This article was first published on July 15, 2021 by Pentagon-Pets.
For free-range chickens who can forage, there’s not much need to give them additional veggies, however, it’s something you might want to consider doing a few times per week if your chickens are mainly kept in a run.
Can You Grow Cauliflower Plants if you Keep Free-Range Chickens?
If you’re planning on growing cauliflower and other veggies in a garden space or allotment where you keep chickens then it’s worth keeping in mind that chickens can quickly destroy your crops.
Chickens will peck at cauliflower plants, especially when they’re young and tender and they can also dig up crops by scratching the soil around them for worms and other insects.
It’s a good idea to net or fence around any vegetables you grow when you have free-range chickens, especially when plants are young and more vulnerable.
Chickens can quickly destroy any planted area with their feet alone before you even have a chance to notice what they’re doing.
Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on July 15, 2021.
More FAQ’s on Feeding Chickens Cauliflower
Cauliflower is healthy and safe for chickens in moderation and is the type of treat which is recommended over any human processed foods such as bread or junk food. Cauliflower is especially high in vitamin C which is known for its antioxidant properties.
Although a small amount of cauliflower cheese shouldn’t harm a chicken, it is much better to give them raw cauliflower. A chicken’s digestive system is not designed to eat dairy and salt isn’t good for them either.
If you feed cauliflower to chickens it won’t have any impact on the flavor of their eggs. A healthy diet where chickens eat some veggies, their main feed and naturally foraged foods can only benefit egg quality and richness.
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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on July 15, 2021.